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RubberGard EPDM transforms historic landmark into a stunning rooftop oasis

Clifford's Tower is a treasured landmark from King Henry III's era located in York (UK) and was used as a treasury, exchequer, mint, gaol and seat of royal power for much of the 14th and 15th centuries. The tower was in ruins for a long period of time after a devastating fire in 1684. Looking to renovate and provide proper waterproofing protection to the beautiful historical tower, Elevate's RubberGard EPDM single-ply roofing membrane was chosen due to its elasticity and durability which would adapt to the tower’s needs and result in a stunning renovation project. 

Project ID

York, UK

Project type


Building type

Public building

Roof surface

300 m²

Product used

RubberGard EPDM

System used


The ambitious roof deck restoration, led by Hugh Broughton Architects together with conservation specialists Martin Ashley Architects, unleashed hidden treasures and breathtaking views. A free-standing timber structure was created to welcome visitors and explore previously inaccessible parts of the tower, while a raft foundation preserves archaeological remains below. 

With its remarkable flexibility, RubberGard EPDM ensures durable waterproofing, protecting the structure for generations. Installed by roofing contractor Modern Roofs, the new roof deck not only safeguards Clifford's Tower but also offers inspiring panoramas of the city.

Jason Jayes, director of Modern Roofs said: “The new roof deck provides magnificent views over York and demanded a waterproofing solution that would protect the structure for decades. The RubberGard EPDM membrane was installed quickly and safely by our team across the roof deck as well as the staircase underneath, ensuring the structure is protected from the elements. Making sure this project was completed as smoothly as possible was crucial. We needed to make sure both the materials and the installation process were of the highest quality, providing the assurance that the waterproofing will last for generations and that this incredible landmark can be enjoyed by visitors for many more years to come.” 


Throughout the 16-month project, Elevate authorized distributor PermaRoof and Elevate's technical support team prioritized preserving the tower's heritage. 

Carl Bailey, Regional Technical Manager for Elevate in the UK added: “The durability of RubberGard EPDM made it ideal for this important heritage project. The membrane has an unrivaled resistance to ozone, UV radiation and extreme temperatures, and as it doesn’t contain any plasticisers or flame retardants, its characteristics remain stable and unchanged over time. Made from a synthetic rubber compound, another benefit of RubberGard EPDM is that it is installed without the need for hot works, making onsite working conditions safer.”

The refurbishment also included meticulous repairs to turret stairs, arrow slits, fireplaces, and damaged stonework, enhancing the visitor's experience. Now, Clifford's Tower stands proud, inviting explorers to witness its architectural marvels, delve into a royal chapel, and even encounter a specially-built toilet for King Henry III – a testament to its fascinating and multifaceted history, cherished by English Heritage.

Jeremy Ashbee, Head Properties Curator at English Heritage, commented: “One of England’s most important buildings, Clifford’s Tower is almost all that remains of York Castle, which was the center of government for the North throughout the Middle Ages and up to the 17th-century. We not only wanted to preserve this incredible building but also do justice to its fascinating and multifaceted history.” 


EPDM is the most future-proof roofing solution when it comes to sustainabilityperformance and design freedom. Learn more about the role it played within this project and many others by discovering its benefits.

How did EPDM elevate this project?



Freedom of design is key to those creating big things. Thanks to its flexibility and availability in big, single-ply sheets, EPDM supports creative solutions. It also enables future transformations and placing new objects on the roof.



EPDM can be installed directly on most existing roofing systems, with or without insulation. Since it’s safe and flame-free, many renovations can happen without closing the building underneath.